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Welcome to the West Virginia GeoExplorer Project!

The West Virginia GeoExplorer is an innovative geographically-based web resource for exploring the history, culture, and architecture of West Virginia. Jefferson County serves as the starting point for project efforts, which will later be expanded to encompass the rest of the state.

Using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, digital imaging, and the rich concentration of local primary historical materials, it is a freely-available resource for scholars, students, professionals, and laymen, with potential uses ranging from a digital archives of primary sources, to a research and educational tool, to an integral part of the community's planning and development process.

William (Bill) Theriault

We say a sad goodbye to our founder and friend.

Bill.jpg

William David Theriault, 72, of Hagerstown, MD, passed away Saturday, January 12, 2019, at his home.

Born Thursday, May 30, 1946 in Waterville, ME, he was the son of the late John M. Theriault and the late Grace (McEachern) Theriault.

Bill received a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a Master’s degree from the University of Denver and his doctorate degree in American Literature from George Washington University. Throughout his career he was a technical writer and taught college level English. He was the first chairman of the Jefferson County Landmarks Commission in West Virginia and a founding member of the Peter Burr Bread Bakers Guild. Bill was also a member of the Friends of Peter Burr and helped bring artisan bread baking to Washington County through programs at the Rural Heritage Museum.

Bill spent the last forty years studying the history of Jefferson County, West Virginia. He developed a website for students and researchers about the history of Eastern West Virginia called the West Virginia GeoExplorer. As an author, Bill published The History of Eastern Jefferson County, How and Where to Look It Up Volumes 1 through 3, The Jefferson County History Calendar, A History of Shannondale Springs, Julia Davis: A Literary Biography; Volumes 1 and 2, Artisan Bread Baking for Living History Museums, Baking Heirloom Artisan Bread at Home, and The Fourth Estate - Volume One. Bill wrote a long-running column in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper covering local history and topics. Bill received several awards for his contributions to local history including the Certificate of Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History in 1996 and the Distinguished Citizen of Jefferson County Award from the Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate in 2001.

He is survived by his wife of fifty years Maureen P. Theriault; daughter, Amy E. Theriault; son-in-law Kevin Lee McIver; sister-in-law Esther Pierce; sister-in-law Janice L. Hunt; brother-in-law Charles Pheeney and wife Maria; sister-in-law Martha McNeil and husband Michael LeBlanc; and mother-in-law Pauline E. Pheeney. He also is survived by numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his stepmother Marjorie Holland, brother John M. Theriault, Jr. and father-in-law Charles T. Pheeney.

Basic Search

Get started using the basic search feature, located here: Basic Search

Semantic Search

The historical data has been formatted to include semantic properties which make it far easier to search for and located precise information about individuals from our past. To begin using the semantic search, navigate here: Semantic Search. For more information about how this works, or for guidance on the syntax of the search, use this tutorial.

Navigation

Our site uses the well known Mediawiki platform, popularized by Wikipedia. The standard navigation principles of a wiki should be familiar to you, however - here is a good overview of how to navigate within the wiki: Navigation Tutorial

Editing Pages

Standard Wiki Formatting rules apply, and can be found in this tutorial: Editing Pages. We use a few specific tokens and templates to make our interfaces consistent, as well as automatically mark up records with Semantic properties. They can be found here: